WaPo – R. Novak: For Pro-Choice Politicians, a Pass With the Pope

Whereas Card. Egan of New York has issued a press statement taking to task former NYC mayor R. Guiliani (R-NY) for receiving Communion at the Holy Father’s Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, this is from the WaPo.

For Pro-Choice Politicians, a Pass With the Pope

By Robert D. Novak
Monday, April 28, 2008; A15

In the aftermath of the U.S. visit by Pope Benedict XVI, traditional Catholics are asking a troublesome question: Did pro-choice politicians receiving Communion at the papal Masses indicate the pope had softened on the abortion question? The answer is no. On the contrary, it reflected disobedience to Benedict by the archbishops of New York and Washington. [Did you notice that "by the archbishops" and not "to"? ]

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sens. John Kerry, Christopher Dodd and Edward M. Kennedy received Communion at Nationals Park in Washington, as did former mayor Rudolph Giuliani at Yankee Stadium in New York. Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington and Cardinal Edward Egan, archbishop of New York, invited them. [Were they really invited to receive?  Surely a prominent seat suggests something.  This is a realy why I think row by row Communion, though orderly, is a bad idea.] Given choice seats, they took Communion as a matter of course.

Vatican sources say the pope has not retreated from his long-held position that pro-choice politicians should be deprived of Communion, but the decisions in Washington and New York were not his. The effect was to dull the pope’s messages of faith, obligation and compassion. In his Yankee Stadium homily, he talked of "authority" and "obedience" — acknowledging that "these are not easy words to speak nowadays." They surely are not for four former presidential candidates and two princes of the church, representing Catholics who defy their faith’s doctrine on abortion.  [OUCH]

Benedict’s position was unequivocal when he was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Asked in 2004 whether Kerry, as the Democratic presidential nominee, should be allowed to take Communion, he replied, "The minister of Holy Communion must refuse to distribute it."  [Remember how another prince of the Church, Card. McCarrick watered down Papa Ratzinger's letter for USCCB consumption?]

Ratzinger’s demeanor necessarily has changed with his elevation from doctrinal enforcer [there's that word] to global pastor, but he has not altered his position. When the pope arrived in Brazil a year ago, he declared: "The killing of an innocent human child is incompatible with going into Communion in the body of Christ."

Benedict did not reiterate that position in Washington and New York, because a pope traveling abroad is influenced by the stance of local church authorities. American bishops are [unfortunately] divided. Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. Louis leads those who believe pro-choice politicians cannot receive Communion. Cardinal [speaking of His Eminence...]Theodore McCarrick, Wuerl’s predecessor as archbishop of Washington, took the opposite position. Blessed with charm and political finesse, McCarrick was not about to clash with his archdiocese’s most famous parishioners.

Wuerl is considered less political than McCarrick, but he is hardly less averse to colliding with powerful laymen. He could have simply not invited the pro-choice politicians to a Mass where there was no room for the vast majority of Catholics who wanted to attend. The five pro-choice Catholics took Communion from the hand of Archbishop Pietro Sambi, [OUCH - and not true, at least in the case of Sen. Kerry (D-MA) and Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT)] the pope’s representative to the United States as apostolic delegate.

In New York, Giuliani receiving Communion was even more remarkable.
Unlike Pelosi and Kennedy, who attend Mass regularly, the former mayor says he goes to church only "occasionally," usually for holidays or funerals. Abortion aside, Giuliani’s third marriage would make him ineligible for Communion because his second marriage was not annulled [er um... declared null] by the church. But Cardinal Egan is no more apt than Cardinal McCarrick was to offend the powerful, and Giuliani was invited to the Mass.  [So it seems that His Eminence's hand may have been forced today?]

There are devout pro-life Catholics who oppose rejection of any worshiper at the Communion rail but believe bishops should publicly manifest disapproval of Catholic pro-choice politicians. The bishops of Washington and New York do not. During the Mass at which Wuerl was installed as archbishop of Washington in 2006, he shook hands with Kerry and Kennedy, seated side by side.

At Yankee Stadium, Benedict spoke of the "inalienable dignity and rights" of "the most defenseless of all human beings, the unborn child in the mother’s womb." In parishes across the country, the faithful hear their priests echo the Holy Father’s words. Those professions ring hollow when pro-choice politicians are honored as they were during the pope’s visit.

 

UPDATE: 1 May 23:29 UTC:

At the bottom of his column in today’s Post, Robert Novak states: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/30/AR2008043003251.html

 

My April 28 column erred in saying that Archbishop Pietro Sambi, the apostolic delegate, was the priest who gave Communion to pro-choice politicians during the recent papal Mass in Washington.

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44 Responses to WaPo – R. Novak: For Pro-Choice Politicians, a Pass With the Pope

  1. Volpius says:

    It is questionable whether they should have been invited at all is it not, imagine what an effect treating them as “heathens and publicans” could have had in correcting their grave and terrible position of opposition to God.

  2. Matt Q says:

    1. As held by the Church but not necessarily taught I suppose: Unless one is truly disposed to receive Communion, one Eats and Drinks his own **condemnation**.

    2. Talking the talk but not walking the walk.

    3. Picking and choosing what to say and what to do according to place? Let’s see. That’s called political correctness, or being disingenuous at least.

  3. Hal Duston says:

    You’ve got a red unclosed HTML tag towards the end of paragraph six on this post that impacts the rest of the post and indeed all of the following posts on the front page.

  4. Jordanes says:

    Whenever this subject of denying Communion to pro-abortion politicians comes up, I’m reminded of the time when St. Ambrose of Milan not only denied Communion to Emperor Theodosius, but met him on the steps of his cathedral as the Emperor and his courtiers were arriving for Mass and refused to let him come into the church. In front of everyone, St. Ambrose told him, in so many words, “What do you think you’re doing here?” Theodosius’ sin was having suppressed a rebellion by ordering the deaths of everyone in the rebellious town, regardless of age or sex. St. Ambrose told him he was excommunicated until he had done public penance for his crime. Chastened, the emperor withdrew — and did his penance and was readmitted to Communion.

    How I long to see just one of our bishops — and yes, our Holy Father too — imitate the example of St. Ambrose with these pro-abortion politicians.

  5. In another post, Archbishop Egan expressed his profound regret over Rudy Guiliani having received Communion at a Papal Mass, and the intention to speak with him in the future. But as was the case with the politicians who attended the Mass in Washington, I’m wondering what possessed Archbishop Wuerl to allow them VIP seating to begin with. (Please don’t tell me he had no control over this.) Maybe if Nancy Pelosi had to wait for the lottery like the rest of us — Hey, didn’t he say she wasn’t from this diocese, and not his problem? — she might have gotten the hint. But that didn’t happen, and she didn’t get it.

    Seems to be a lot of people here who just don’t get it. At least Egan recognizes it sooner or later. That’s always the first step. What’s next???

  6. BK says:

    The Discipline Regarding the Denial of Holy Communion to Those Obstinately Persevering in Manifest Grave Sin by Archbishop Raymond L. Burke, D.D., J.C.D.

    http://www.catholicculture.org/library/view.cfm?recnum=7796

    Description:
    Writing in the latest edition of the Canon Law journal, Periodica De Re Canonica, Archbishop Raymond L. Burke, bishop of St. Louis, Missouri, has called his brother bishops to task for their silence on the problem of Catholic politicians who support abortion, euthanasia, cloning, embryo research, the homosexual political agenda or other legislation “contrary to the natural moral law.” Burke’s lengthy article addresses the scandal during the 2004 presidential election campaign when Senator John Kerry insisted that he could be militantly pro-abortion, ignore “Vatican” teachings on the sanctity of human life and marriage, and remain a good Catholic and a good Catholic politician.

    Larger Work:
    Periodica De Re Canonica

    Pages: 3 – 58, Vol. 96

    Publisher & Date:
    Pontifical Gregorian University, 2007

  7. Ken says:

    Cardinal Egan should get some credit for making improvements and such — he had a huge hand in the classical music in New York during the papal visit in New York and killed the silly skateboard contest before it elevated itself to the Holy Father’s attention.

    But I can’t say I’m too impressed with one who plays defense. He should instruct his clergy and those giving communion in his archdiocese. They need clarity — and it’s not there.

  8. Supertradmom says:

    Why do these bishops not realize that the politicians are adding scandal and sacrilege to sin? Is it not their (the bishops’) duty to lead these lost souls back to Christ instead of either ignoring the sin or condoning political expediency? I would hope a bishop would correct me if I were blindly sinning, so as to have a chance to repent.

  9. RBrown says:

    Kudos to Robert Novak, a convert from Judaism. And I recommend his Memoirs, “Prince of Darkness”.

  10. John says:

    While it would be a stretch to say that Benedict XVI authorized what happened, one can at least infer that the pope did not issue strict instructions to the contrary. The cumulative effect of these events will likely be to weaken the case that the Vatican wants the American bishops to take a stricter stance against communion for pro-choice Catholics in public life.

    The above quote is from John Allen’s column in NCR on April 20th. Perhaps it wasn’t a prompting from the Vatican, nevertheless, it would seem this is not a dead issue.

  11. TJM says:

    Perhaps these prelates are more concerned with maintaining the Church’s tax exempt status rather than preaching the Gospel? I can’t read their minds
    but the thought has occured to me. Tom

  12. RBrown says:

    Remember how another prince of the Church, Card. McCarrick watered down Papa Ratzinger’s letter for USCCB consumption?

    I take “watered down” to be a euphemism for “distorted”.

  13. RBrown says:

    Seems to be a lot of people here who just don’t get it. At least Egan recognizes it sooner or later. That’s always the first step. What’s next???
    Comment by David L Alexander

    Did His Eminence recognize it? Or was he tipped to the Novak column and immediately issued his statement?

  14. Jacques says:

    Of course these politicians are eating their own condemnation, but those bishops who gave them communion are bearing a greater guilt for having in full knowledge helped these men to commit a sacrilege. The faithful may plead ignorance, while the cleric can’t.
    Ins’t this the sin against the Spirit, the sin that will never be forgiven?

  15. Pavegs says:

    The statement, “The five pro-choice Catholics took Communion from the hand of Archbishop Pietro Sambi,” is not true. I was in the section next to the politicians at the Nationals Stadium Mass and watched as they received from either a priest or a deacon as these photos confirm (http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/apr/08041707.html). I don’t know where that information came from, but Robert Novak should make sure his facts are strait first, we don’t need any discredit in the pro-life movement for spreading false information.

    However this is a very sad situation in this country and I pray that our bishops start to crack down on these pro-death politicians. This is scandalous.

  16. Pavegs says:

    The statement, \”The five pro-choice Catholics took Communion from the hand of Archbishop Pietro Sambi,\” is not true. I was in the section next to the politicians at the Nationals Stadium Mass and watched as they received from either a priest or a deacon as these photos confirm (http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/apr/08041707.html). I don\’t know where that information came from, but Robert Novak should make sure his facts are strait first, we don\’t need any discredit in the pro-life movement for spreading false information.

    However this is a very sad situation in this country and I pray that our bishops start to crack down on these pro-death politicians. This is scandalous.

    null

  17. Sissy says:

    Quote:
    “But Cardinal Egan is no more apt than Cardinal McCarrick was to offend the powerful, and Giuliani was invited to the Mass.”
    ******************

    “Blessed is he that shall not be scandalized in Me. Matthew xi, 6″

    HUMAN RESPECT…is shameful slavery and contemptible cowardice. Human respect makes man fall into the criminal apostasy because it checks in him the effects of the most powerful graces, and thus becomes the most fatal obsticle to the conversion of the worldling. It destroys the divine love in the heart and causes the creature to be preferred to the Creator. Human respect causes man to fall into apostasy, which is no longer interior and secret, but, as is daily seen to the shame of the Christian name , is only too public and well known.

    “Woe to the world because of scandals. Woe to that man by whom the scandal cometh! Matthew xviii, 7″

    Scandal of human respect is the scandal caused by those who by their conversations and conduct assist in maintaining human respect in the world.

    I belong to God, I owe all to Him, and I betray Him. Unpardonable cowardice, struck by so many anathemas in the Gospel! Ah! Let us remember the Holy Martyrs. Did they fear the presence of men? Let us imitate St. John the Baptist, who confessed Jesus Christ even in prison.

    Source: Instructions on Christian Morality for Preachers and Teachers
    Rev. John Kiely
    1924

  18. Jordanes says:

    Ken said: killed the silly skateboard contest before it elevated itself to the Holy Father’s attention.

    Whether you think the skateboard contest was silly or not, the contest was not killed. I don’t know why you thought it was — perhaps because the contest had to be moved off the official archdiocesan website to its own website, because the increased traffic from contest voters was overwhelming the archdiocesan server? Anyway, it has been reported that the contest winner, Krystal Melendez, presented her skateboard to the Pope during the youth rally at St. Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers on April 19

  19. Raymond says:

    As an immigrant to the US, American cafeteria-Catholics continue to baffle me. In other countries, especially European ones, you can’t even get the pro-abortion, Socialist politicians to Mass, much less receive Communion. Only in America can you find an oxymoronic group named “Catholics for a Free Choice.”

  20. Whatever the impetus, Deo gratias that Cardinal Egan issued his admonition. Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. Louis has been one of the few courageous apostles to fully implement the letter from then Cardinal Ratzinger sent to the USCCB in July, 2004, entitled “Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion.” What bothers me is that someone coordinated certain events, like the giving of Holy Communion to notorious pro-abortion politicians, to the private papal audience afforded to Wolf Blitzer and Tim Russert. Smells of bella figura to me. It is one thing to render to Caesar what is Caesar’s; it is quite another thing to appease, indulge and ingratiate oneself to Caesar.

  21. Ken says:

    Jordanes — I heard the cardinal killed the skateboard presentation at the last minute. It was indeed supposed to be presented to the Holy Father at the seminary, but have you seen any photos / read any articles about that actually happening? Certainly there would be a picture if it happened (a kid handing the pope a skateboard).

  22. Fr. Trigilio: Nice to see you chime in. One must also wonder, subsequently, what this might mean for the timing of and the nomination of Card. Egan’s successor. It don’t think it would surprise anyone were His Holiness, after a congruent period, to name a successor to His Eminence for New York, since His Eminence is 76 years of age. Such an appointment will be telling.

  23. Papabile says:

    Interesting….. On would think that Egan would have control over the seating of VIP’s, but no.

    As this was a visit by a head of state, Secret Service was vested with security considerations, which congressional VIP’s, and in particular Constitutional Officers (Speaker of the House), fall under. That a number of seats for VIP’s was established, was handled by the US State Department and Stato.

  24. Papabile says:

    I meant Wuerl, not Egan.

  25. RBrown says:

    As an immigrant to the US, American cafeteria-Catholics continue to baffle me. In other countries, especially European ones, you can’t even get the pro-abortion, Socialist politicians to Mass, much less receive Communion. Only in America can you find an oxymoronic group named “Catholics for a Free Choice.”
    Comment by Raymond

    It’s the influence of Protestantism, with its highly subjective approach to faith. Euros seem to know what the Church is and is not. In America, however, there is the tendency to think that every one decides for himself what the Church is.

    This is why all the American back slapping that is done about church attendance in the States is self-aggrandizing nonsense. There are people attending mass and receiving Communion who lack Catholic faith and morals.

  26. As a matter of discipline, my parish follows the rule of Confession every week in order to commune frequently. Each penitent then explicitly asks for a blessing to receive of “the awesome and life-creating Mysteries of Christ’ Body and Blood’” I used to think that perhaps this might be a tad to strict, but reading these comments re assures me of the better way.

  27. anon says:

    Jordanes.

    I was present at the Youth Rally. There was no such presentation of any skateboard.

  28. Jim Dorchak says:

    Unfortunatly, with the wide and generous reporting of pro abort politicians intentions to recieve communion and then the bragging of their recieving communion through out the world press, I would have to assume that the Holy Father knew what was afoot. If he did not then shame on those who did know (Kept it a secret by not letting him read any new paper or watch any TV or hear any radio) and should have given him a heads up (IE.. Wuerl, Egan and the other defacto Pro-Abort Cardinals / Princes).

    In addition to this scandal, the continued reporting of the sin after the fact and the lack of a voice of condemnation on the part of the Holy Father or his staff, leads me to believe (and I pray not so) that this whole “Pro-Life” thing is window dressing.

    By the tacit “NO, No – Yes, Yes” of the American Cardinals and the like, adn because one can only assume from the lack of screaming from the heads of the UCCCCCCCCB (or what ever they call it now) is approval for the personal right to abortion.

    Am I to assume that I am more knowledgable than these learned men? No they are very smart and know exactly what they are doing and I am very sure plan, plan, plan and then some more, exactly what they are going to say and do at events like these where we have seen this scandal. Remember they inited the scandal.

    Do I have to Yell it from the roof top.

    ABORTION IS NOW OK ACCORDING TO THE CATHOLIC CHURCH. (DEFACTO)

    ABORTION IS SUPPORTED BY THE CATHOLIC CHURCH. (DEFACTO)

    OUR “CATHOLIC” CARDINALS WANT THE WORLD TO KNOW THAT WE IN THE GOOD OLD USA ARE OK WITH ABORTION AND WRAP OUR ARMS AROUND THE CULTURE OF DEATH. WE ARE HIP AND COOL AND KNOW THAT IT IS JUST A FLESH BLOB NOT A LIFE.

    Sorry but it is true………..

    Any bit of, no your wrong, would be a whisper if it did not come from the Holy Father or one of these wonderful Cardinals who invited these politicians.

    Just look at the pictures……

    IT IS TRUE!

    I sure do love the Catholic Church, but it seems that they hate me and my efforts to raise good Catholic children.

    I must go throw up now. It is sick, just sick…………

    Jim Dorchak

  29. further reason, why I think the USCCB should be dissolved…It’d be nice to see Canon 915 enforced by all of the Bishops. Too much grey in a clearly black or white issue.

  30. magdalen says:

    “hardly less averse to colliding with powerful laymen”

    Cowards! They hide behind a false prudence and claim to be pastoral meanwhile
    allowing scandal. Yes, disobedience BY the prelates. For decades we have had
    this and they continue with impunity in this world. Whether it is the
    cardinal that transferred one pedophile 22 times or the others who
    looked tor secular advice because they had no discerment nor care for
    souls themselves. Human respect was what they sought and maybe they
    had it for a time but no longer.

    The prelates are called upon to be the salt of the earth and what if salt
    becomes insipid? Then it is good for nothing but to be thrown out and
    trampled underfoot and this is what has happened to the respect that
    many holy offices should have.

  31. Jordanes says:

    Anonymous said: I was present at the Youth Rally. There was no such presentation of any skateboard.

    Hmm, perhaps it wasn’t presented in public at the rally, but CNN interviewed Krystal Melendez from St. Joseph Seminary on April 19, shortly before she was to meet the Holy Father and present her gift. Krystal was unaware at that time that she would not after all be presenting the skateboard, and it would have been unkind, indeed pretty rotten, for someone to nix a planned gift presentation to the Pope just a couple hours before it was supposed to happen. I also recall seeing a story somewhere (but can’t find it now) that mentioned, almost in passing, that he received the skateboard at St. Joseph Seminary on April 19 — but even if my memory is accurate, that story could have been written by someone who assumed the gift had been presented as previously reported. The intinerary at http://www.uspapalvisit.org/itinerary_en.htm does not mention the skateboard among the gifts the Pope was to receive in conjunction with the rally. I could imagine something coming up in the events of the day that required a last-minute change of plans, but I would like to think the gift presentation wasn’t canceled out of ungraciousness. Anyway, the skateboard is available for purchase as “the official papal skateboard,” whether it was presented to him in Yonkers or not.

  32. TNCath says:

    Fr. Z: “One must also wonder, subsequently, what this might mean for the timing of and the nomination of Card. Egan’s successor. It don’t think it would surprise anyone were His Holiness, after a congruent period, to name a successor to His Eminence for New York, since His Eminence is 76 years of age. Such an appointment will be telling.”

    I’m wondering if the Pope isn’t going to keep Cardinal Egan around for at least until the end of this year. I think the Pope was pleased with what Cardinal Egan did in New York. The bishop I’d think would be worried is Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl, arguably one of the most enigmatic archbishops in the country. Less political than Cardinal McCarrick? Sure. Stronger in the defense of the faith with politicians? Not really. I’d be willing to bet that he doesn’t get a red hat and will join the ranks of those who were passed up such as Archbishops John L. May and William Donald Borders.

    Another situation to watch is that of Archbishop Sambi. Note how nuanced he has become since becoming Nuncio for the United States after his stint in the Holy Land, where he was a quite outspoken defender of the Faith. He obviously knew to whom he was distributing Holy Communion. While I’m sure he wasn’t about to create an incident and refuse them the Sacrament right there on the spot, I wonder where he really is on this issue. Methinks we’ll never here a word from the nuncio about this, and it will all simply fade away.

  33. Denis Crnkovic says:

    There is very little of politics in this whole scandalous affair. It is forbidden for those who dissent from the Catholic faith to approach the Blesed Sacrament. It is forbidden to give communion to public sinners. Anyone who connives to do so – and to make the sinful recipients feel as if they are doing the right thing – is guilty of as great a sin. Let’s not dance around the reception (and distribution) of Holy Communion to the totally unworthy as if it were a subject for discussion. There is nothing more to talk about here. This is a situation that calls for praying for God’s grace and mercy to enlighten those caught in the snares of Evil.

  34. RBrown says:

    The bishop I’d think would be worried is Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl, arguably one of the most enigmatic archbishops in the country.
    Comment by TNCath

    I’ve heard a lot of descriptions of Abp Wuerl, but enigmatic has never been one of them.

  35. mike says:

    As a random thought:
    I see the words “Communion rail”, but I never SEE Communion rails!
    Could this article suggest that Catholic churches ought to have them?!

    I’ve noticed that movies with scenes in Catholic churches never
    film in de-sacralized, Stalinist, gymnasium churches; they are always
    filled with statues and stained glass and marble etc. (very traditional).

    Can the media (sub-consciously) reveal to Catholics what real Catholic
    identity is all about?

  36. nobody says:

    Guliani… This man is a lackey of the powers that be. Of course he’s (and Kerry and Bush and Gore and whomever else is a bonesman/kabbalist/satan worshiper, part time or otherwise) not supposed to take communion without confession, just like the rest of us. I did that once (not knowing), at my grandma’s funeral no less, and it just about burned a hole through my stomach.

    Why can’t our priests just follow the rules? Why do they care what the politicians say? Will they not get elected to the local church? Or is it sooooooo simple (minded) as a popularity contest, and they care so much what the kabbalistic/masonic politicians think? Rudolf and 911…got a ways to go before I’ll start helping him.

  37. nobody says:

    o.k., so the ‘not knowing’ isn’t entirely accurate. They told me (whatever that means), and I did it anyways. what great friends I have.. show up when it’s convenient to persecute me because of my imperfections. Your only and best hope is that you’re right

  38. Diane says:

    Fr. Z comments: Were they really invited to receive? Surely a prominent seat suggests something. This is a realy why I think row by row Communion, though orderly, is a bad idea.

    I agree. When a a bishop or priest tells someone not to present himself, perhaps it would be a good time to remind them that they may approach, but to cross their arms over their chest to indicate they are not receiving, but would like a blessing.

    Of course, with the army of EHMC’s in most parishes, something is lost with this approach – a blessing from a priest.

  39. Fr. Upnorth says:

    Why should those who are married out of the church get a special blessing at Communion time? Why should those who promote the killing of unborn children get a special blessing? The procession to the altar is only for the reception of Holy Communion in any case and is not for a blessing from the priest. A blessing is imparted on all those present at every Mass at the end of every Mass.

  40. HOUSEKEEPING NOTE: I delete comments posted as “anonymous” or “anon”.

    Pick pseudonym if you don’t want to be identified.

  41. EJ says:

    “I’ve heard a lot of descriptions of Abp Wuerl, but enigmatic has never been one of them.”

    Considering ambiguous and perplexing as a synomym to enigmatic – I would unfortunately second a description of the archbishop as such. He hails himself as a “teaching” bishop over anything else, yet does not consider for a minute how his actions, or lack thereof, betray his own perception of himself as a teacher. Cardinal Eagan has proven himself as an authentic bishop-teacher yesterday, and deserves praise as such. But Wuerl? Where is his teaching? Sure he had a great TV show in Pittsburgh, some smart looking publications-a diocesan newspaper column which could be mistaken as a carbon copy of the Cathechism….but where is his TEACHING yesterday? We instead get a silence which speaks volumes, and teaches the wrong CCD lesson. How we miss the likes of James Cardinal Hickey, RIP, here in DC.

  42. Marcin says:

    Fr. Upnorth, you are right on spot! The American phenomenon of presenting oneself for blessing at the Communion has baffled me for last 10 years. If one cannot receive let him stay in the pew. And why the posture with crossed arms? I wonder who came up with this custom, that looks really like many other post-VatII innovations? It\’s exactly an opposite to the Eastern way of receiving, where it is a traditional manner of approaching the Chalice to receive. Interesting is that in my native Poland significant part of communicants approach with crossed arms (being Roman Catholics) and it is always interpreted as it should be. Not so long ago, here in US, I forgot myself here and had to do a lot of explaining to a distributing deacon.

    Father Hieromonk Gregory – Christos anesti! The practice that you observe in your church, while very strict, can only be applauded. But if somebody who you do not know (bona fide Orthodox visitor) present himself, would you give the Chalice? Also what if somebody shows up of whom you know should not, what would be the proper thing to do for a priest? A priest from Metropoly of Johnstown once told me that he would deny, yet bless the person making a sign of Cross with the Chalice. Is that common practice or it varies among Orthodox jurisdictions?

  43. Michael says:

    “I see the words “Communion rail”, but I never SEE Communion rails!
    Could this article suggest that Catholic churches ought to have them?!”

    I also think that removal of communion rails and the change in the manner of reception was a mistake. Now that everybody lines up and the Priest remains stationary, it is much more difficult for a Priest to gently deny Communion to one he knows should not be receiving it.

    If the practice of the Priest moving down the Altar Rail were revived, it would be so much easire to pass on by, perhaps with a whispered message to meet after Mass, without causing disruption or some other scene

  44. Gerry S says:

    I Corinthians 11:26-30:

    Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord. But let a man prove himself: and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of the chalice. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord. Therefore are there many infirm and weak among you, and many sleep.